it was one year ago today that my father had his accident while on vacation in the dominican republic. i looked back at my work notebook from that day. the morning started off very normal. a list of work items, things I needed to do during the day, notes from meetings. then nothing else on the page.
i don’t remember anything from that day before i received a phonecall. just a regular day, nothing special. until the phone rang and i got the tragic message. just thinking about it still gives me chills. i remember everything from that point on very vividly. my heart racing trying to absorb the contents of the phone call, struggling to understand what was being told to me, wondering how this could have happened, continually trying to wake up from this bad dream or a cruel joke, worrying about my mom by herself. calling my wife, trying to keep it together. the longest 20 minutes of my life waiting for her to drive to my work and pick me up. the drive to my sister’s work to tell her, seeing her collapse from the news, driving to her apartment to rest. calling mom. waiting to find out if and when mom would be flying back to toronto.
the weeks following were brutally hard. coming to grips with the changes in life. finally seeing dad come back and realizing it wasn’t all a dream. somedays i still imagine that this never really happened and it’s like he’s still in kingston, i’m in toronto and i just haven’t been home in a while. but i know that’s not real.
the last thing i remember of my dad is hugging him goodbye after christmas. i never thought that would be the last time i saw him, but thankfully, i remember that vividly as well. mom, dad and the dog on the front step waving goodbye as we left.
the past year has been a year of firsts – first birthday without dad, first father’s day, first thanksgiving, first christmas. i’ve heard the first year is the hardest as you go through each of these events. i’ve come to accept he’s no longer with us and i think of the good memories from each of those special days. memories are very important, so get a camera and take lots of photos and videos of your family and friends. they’ll be priceless as you get older.